From the Pastor: Summer Reading List

Some of the Woollys at Garden City Beach, SC

Dear friends,

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to find a really good summer book. I usually start with one that’s nowhere close to being work-related. This year, John Hart’s The Unwilling has been waiting for me patiently on my nightstand. I’ve been holding off until we hit the beach the week of June 17. I can hardly wait to set my chair and feet in the sand and open up to chapter 1.

After that, I plan to dive into Caste: The Origins of our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson. It, too, has been waiting on my desk for months, but I didn’t want to jump into it too quickly. I’m pretty sure it’ll take a while to read and digest, so I set it aside for summer time.

Ahh, summer time. Like Zac Brown says, I can hardly wait to get my “toes in the water” because when you do all the troubles of the world seem to drift away and all you can think is that, well, “life is good today.”

Do you have a favorite summer read? I asked members of our staff and here’s what they’re diving into this summer. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration:

Danny Hines:  Total Power (a Vince Flynn novel in the Mitch Rapp series) by Kyle Mills. On the more serious side he’s tackling Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, by Emmanuel Acho, a former NFL linebacker and current Fox Sports analyst.

Ruth Ann Diehl: Educated, by Tara Westover (Of note: this was one of my favorites summer reads of the last 5 years. Great book.) And The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama.

Pastor Laura prefers an audiobook to a hand-held one. She’s looking forward to listening to Raising Good Humans: A mindful guide to breaking the cycle of reactive parenting and raising kind, confident kids.

Taylor Hutchins will tackle Love is the Way, by Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry.

Jon Koppe is looking forward to Can’t Hurt Me, by David Goggins, which tells the story of the author’s enormous struggles during childhood and his hard work and perseverance to become a Navy Seal and Army Ranger.

Rob Durocher takes the deep dive, tackling a couple of heady books, including Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell, by Jason Riley. Sowell is a conservative social theorist considered one of the great thinkers of his era. He’s also looking at Monsieur de Saint George: Virtuoso, Swordsman, Revolutionary (the “Black Mozart”), by Alain Guede.

Diane Poole hasn’t decided yet, but here’s what she says: “I just finished Priscilla, by Dr. M.J. Simms-Maddox, retired professor of Political Science at Livingstone College. She’s written 4 or 5 other books, which I intend to read next. It’s about a young black woman, daughter of a pastor, and her life in the game of politics. Very interesting. She writes in what I call ‘old style,’ i.e. descriptive enough to tweak your imagination into overdrive instead of the short, sweet, staccato writing of today.”

Angel Owens is our reader extraordinaire. She’s got several on her list, including The Rhythm of Prayer, edited by Sarah Bessey, Man Enough by Justin Baldoni, and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

And Stacey Shafer is where most folks are in mid-May – she just can’t make up her mind yet. She writes, “if anyone has a book about how to let your child go to college, that may be a good subject for me!” If you have a suggestion, just let Stacey know.

Maybe that’ll help in your search for the perfect summer read. Whatever you choose, let us know … and enjoy! After a year like we’ve had, it’ll be so nice to sit back, read a good book, and say “life is good today.”

Our best to you this summer.

+Pastor Rhodes


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